- By Vinayak Hegde
RFCs We Love: WebSocket Edition
The fourth meetup of RFCs we love was held on 9th September 2017 at Christ college. The college was having it's annual ethnic day so there was a carnival kind of atmosphere at the venue. The first talk on the agenda was by Dhruv Dhody who gave an introduction to IIESoc. He talked about how the IIESoc non-profit came together when Indian IETF contributors wanted to increase awareness of Internet standards. Later in the event he also talked about Connections 2017 (http://connections.iiesoc.in/) - the pre-IETF forum to get together academia, network operators, software developers working on building today and tomorrow's Internet In India. There are 4 tracks in this conference - Software-defined networks (SDN), Applications layer protocols, Security and Internet of Things. It features international speakers such as Fred Baker, Paul Wouters and Carsten Bormann.
Vipul Mathur from NetApp was the next speaker. He spoke on the history of messaging and how people have tried to solve the bi-directional challenges of HTTP protocol. HTTP was historically built for request response architecture but soon people wanted HTTP to support bidirectional pushes and allow publish-subscribe mechanisms on it. So there were various strategies used to support it such as long polling. The HyBi WG group was setup to look at websockets and standardise it. There were also libraries such as Comet became popular to support websockets. There was a detailed discussion on the nuances of websockets and how HTTP2 now supercedes some of the features that Websockets supplied earlier such as server push. Vipul then did a deep dive into RFC6202: Best Practices for the Use of Long Polling and Streaming in Bidirectional HTTP and RFC6455: The WebSocket Protocol by Vipul Mathur (https://gitpitch.com/VipulMathur/rfc-meetup-sep2017?grs=gitlab) Vipul wrapped up the talk and the event with a couple of good demos of websockets in action in chrome. He used Chrome devtools to dissect the requests and responses and helped the audience understand how the Webscokets protocol works in real life.
Link to all presentations: https://github.com/rfcswelove/rfcs_we_love#meetup-4